Would the terms “smooth,” “velvety,” and “silky” spring to mind if you were to picture the texture of your perfect body lotion or moisturizer? Although that may be a relatively apparent question, we believe the answer is yes. What what gives our favorite goods their buttery, luscious feel is not immediately apparent. What’s the response to that? Dimethicone. Dimethicone, a kind of silicone, may already be on your radar, but for a different, less advantageous reason.

If you spend any time investigating what is dimethicone online, you’ll come across claims and arguments that the ingredient—and silicones in general—clog pores and result in acne, but you’ll also come across publications that make the exact opposite assertion. We wanted to learn more about the dimethicone controversy and if it was troublesome or essential to include it in our skincare products. So, in order to determine what is real and what is just another Internet myth, we consulted leading authorities in skincare.

What Is Dimethicone?

Dimethicone or polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a synthetic silicon polymer and an emollient that acts to increase the smoothness of skin by closing the crevices between the stratum corneum’s surface dead cells (the top layer of the epidermis). Dimethicone is often used in cosmetics intended for the face, such as creams, lotions, moisturizers, and primers, since it doesn’t combine with sebum (an oily material on the skin).

Is dimethicone bad for skin?

Nope! Using dimethicone in cosmetic products is safe for the skin. Furthermore, dimethicone is unlikely to be significantly absorbed into your skin because of its high molecular weight, which makes it difficult to permeate the epidermis. Basically, there is no need to be alarmed about this.

Benefits of Dimethicone for Skin

Dimethicone may generally increase the effectiveness, feel, and lifespan of the other elements in your skincare products.

Gives a velvety feel: Silicones, particularly dimethicone, are primarily employed in skin care products because of their sensory qualities. They provide topical creams and lotions a silky smooth finish, enabling a light texture and non-greasy feel that distributes fast and effortlessly.

Dimethicone has occlusive properties, which allow it to seal in moisture while blocking out outside moisture and irritants by producing a water-resistant coating on the skin. Inflammatory disorders may be caused by transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is prevented by the barrier it builds on the skin.

Despite being occlusive, dimethicone is neither comedogenic nor acnegenic, therefore it won’t result in outbreaks. These characteristics make it a popular ingredient in oil-free formulas that provide long-lasting moisturization without blocking pores.

Controls shine: Because it helps perspiration to escape while reducing the shine of an oily complexion, it is often utilized in cosmetic products for the face.

Skin protection: It serves as a barrier between the skin and external moisture and irritants (such as other components that might result in dermatitis).

Smooths texture: This ingredient is often featured in primers because it may smooth out small lines and wrinkles on the face that affect the texture of your skin and provide a smooth surface for a more evenly distributed application of makeup.

Has a matte finish: Dimethicone is an excellent pre-makeup component because of its silky, somewhat matte appearance.

Possesses emollient properties: Dimethicone acts as an emollient to soften and soothe the skin, but it does so with a lighter, less oily finish than other substances.

Does dimethicone cause acne?

Unexpectedly, dimethicone doesn’t cause blocked pores despite the fact that the thought of it serving as a “seal” on your skin surely seems like a prescription for disaster. It is not as heavy or greasy as other occlusives (such oils), which is why several products for oily skin often use it in their formulas: It assists in mattifying and smoothing your skin, which is particularly useful for temporarily reducing big pores.

In general, dermatologists aren’t very concerned about dimethicone blocking pores. It may actually serve as a barrier that is soothing and protecting since acne-prone skin is often irritated and/or dry, thus it may even be helpful for acne sufferers.

Side Effects of Dimethicone

This is when things start to get a bit tricky. Because dimethicone is occlusive, there is widespread misunderstanding as to whether this stops other components from penetrating the skin and clogs pores while also irritating the skin. But such assertions have no scientific support. Silicones are neither sensitizing or comedogenic. Due to the fact that dimethicones are 100% synthetic, you might even argue they’re “cleaner”. Being extracted from plants, plant oils and butters have a greater likelihood of having possible allergies and may be highly complex.

It does operate as an occlusive, but this is a fundamental feature of moisturizers and has nothing to do with the unsettling metaphor of “placing plastic film over your face” that fear-mongering bloggers often use.

The FDA monograph for skin-protectant medication products includes dimethicone. To determine if the recipe as a whole is suitable for you, experts advise spot testing any new product before using it all over your face since dimethicone is not an ingredient you use on its own.

What skin types can use Dimethicone?

Due to its non-comedogenic properties, dimethicone works well as a moisturizer for all skin types. But individuals with dry or sensitive skin, who might use the additional moisture, will find it very helpful.

Dermatologists love this hydrating gel-cream that is as light as air. It contains a lot of skin-friendly components, including ceramides (lipids that help maintain a healthy skin barrier), sodium hyaluronate, a humectant also known as hyaluronic acid, elderberry (a calming antioxidant), and, of course, dimethicone (which gives it that lightweight, dreamy texture).

Dimethicone, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid are all present in plenty in this fragrance- and oil-free cream for the face and body. This dermatologist-recommended solution absorbs rapidly and leaves no sign of the thick, sticky residue you’re accustomed to having, unlike other thick creams that take a while to fully absorb.

While the sodium hyaluronate and dimethicone in this non-greasy, lightweight moisturizer attract moisture into the skin and seal it there, this formula does more than just hydrate. This water gel functions just as effectively as a primer for makeup application because of the blurring and smoothing properties of dimethicone. Additionally, this is a fantastic product option for individuals with acne-prone skin due to dimethicone’s non-comedogenic properties. Have we mentioned that almost all dermatologists like it?

The bottom line

There aren’t any significant risks associated with utilizing silicone-based skincare products provided you don’t have any problems using dimethicone on your skin. However, if you dislike the way silicone feels or believe that dimethicone doesn’t work well for your skin for whatever reason, you may always choose a silicone-free skincare product instead.


Question 1: Does dimethicone build up on skin?

Answer: Dimethicone is a large molecule that forms a breathable barrier on the skin. While it does not penetrate the skin, it does not build up like other heavy occlusives. When you cleanse your skin, most of the dimethicone is removed, preventing any build-up. However, if you don’t cleanse your skin regularly or thoroughly, some residue may remain.

Question 2: Do dermatologists recommend dimethicone?

Answer: Dermatologists often recommend dimethicone as it is a versatile and safe ingredient that provides numerous benefits to the skin. It is an effective moisturizer, has a smooth texture, and can help to reduce skin irritation. It is also hypoallergenic, making it suitable for sensitive skin types. However, dermatologists may advise against its use for certain individuals with specific skin concerns, so it’s essential to consult your dermatologist if you have any doubts.

Question 3: Are silicones bad for skin?

Answer: Silicones, like dimethicone, are generally considered safe and beneficial for the skin. They create a breathable barrier that helps to retain moisture, making them effective in skincare products. Silicones are also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, meaning they are unlikely to cause allergic reactions or clog pores. However, some individuals may experience irritation or breakouts from silicone-based products, so it is always essential to patch test new products and consult a dermatologist if you have concerns.

Question 4: Can skincare penetrate dimethicone?

Answer: Dimethicone forms a barrier on the skin, but it is permeable to some extent. While it helps to lock in moisture and protect the skin, it does not entirely block the absorption of other skincare ingredients. Most skincare ingredients can penetrate this barrier, especially if they are water-based or have smaller molecular sizes. However, to ensure maximum absorption of your skincare products, it is generally recommended to apply water-based serums and treatments before using a dimethicone-based product.

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